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  2. This is a product not of my region, never tried.
  3. interesting article, as always, from the Economist. why not keeping flogging the deceased equine? the cuban govt has just been given every excuse to crack down and blame others. Sanctions on Cuba will only slow regime change FOR THE past few months Cubans have faced shortages of some foodstuffs, as well as sporadic power cuts and fuel shortages that have affected never-abundant public transport. “We have to prepare for the worst,” Raúl Castro, Cuba’s communist leader, told his people last month. On May 10th the government announced that it would ration several staples, including rice, beans, chicken and eggs, as well as soap and toothpaste. These are the first results of Donald Trump’s tightening of the American economic embargo against Cuba, as part of his effort to overthrow the dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela. Mr Trump’s administration is trying to halt the shipment of oil from Venezuela to Cuba. Last month it imposed fresh restrictions on tourism and remittances to the island from the United States and opened the way for thousands of lawsuits by Americans against foreign companies operating in Cuba. After ousting of Mr Maduro, Cuba’s government “will be next”, promised John Bolton, Mr Trump’s national security adviser. The Cuban regime has survived six decades of American sanctions, and there is little reason to believe it will buckle now. But Mr Trump’s offensive does come at a complicated moment for Cuba. It coincides with a gradual handover of power from Mr Castro, who is 87, to a collective leadership including Miguel Díaz-Canel, who took over as president last year and who was born after the revolution in 1959 that installed communism. It also comes when the economy is stagnant. Older Cubans look back to the years when the island was a heavily subsidised Soviet satellite as ones of relative abundance. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 was followed by what Fidel Castro, Raúl’s older brother, called the “Special Period” of austerity. That ended when Hugo Chávez of Venezuela gave Cuba subsidised oil. When the oil price fell in 2014 and mismanagement cut Venezuela’s oil output, Mr Maduro scaled back the aid; it is now at less than half its peak. The blow was softened, explains Pavel Vidal, a Cuban economist at Javeriana University in Cali, in Colombia, partly by a rise in American tourism following Barack Obama’s thaw towards Cuba and by a modest increase in foreign investment as a result of Raúl Castro’s mildly liberalising economic reforms. Mr Trump’s measures target these two shock absorbers. Mr Vidal expects the economy to shrink by up to 3% this year and imports to fall by 10-15% (after a 20% drop since 2015). Harder times “do not mean returning to the most acute phase of the Special Period”, Mr Castro insisted last month. That was marked by systematic shortages and regular power cuts, the memory of which is traumatic. Since then Cuba has diversified its economy somewhat. It now produces a third of the oil it consumes. It has also hoarded foreign reserves. The immediate impact of the Trump offensive has been to send the Cuban regime into a defensive crouch. Progress in market-opening reforms has all but halted. While not doing anything to jeopardise the system’s iron political control, Mr Díaz-Canel had brought a more relaxed style, going around with his wife and talking to ordinary Cubans. Now the veteran Stalinists in the politburo are more visible again. On May 11th police broke up an unauthorised march by gay-rights activists in Havana. That march was a sign that society, too, has changed as a result of Raúl’s reforms and Mr Obama’s thaw, much scorned though it is by Mr Bolton. A third of the workforce now labours in small private businesses or co-operatives. Around 20% of Cubans, mainly younger ones, are globalised and connected to social media, reckons Rafael Rojas, a Cuban historian at CIDE, a university in Mexico City. With the other 80%, the regime “will be fairly successful in blaming a deterioration of economic conditions on the United States”, he says. “I don’t see a popular uprising or social unrest because of shortages.” For the Cuban regime, Venezuela has been a means to divert American pressure away from the homeland. A bolder leadership might cut its losses, and accept a democratic transition there in return for guarantees that it will still get some oil. But there is no sign that diplomatic overtures by Canada and the Lima Group of Latin American countries will draw that response from Havana. A different administration in Washington might seek to negotiate with Cuba about Venezuela. As it is, under Mr Trump’s assault the Cuban regime is likely to become even more rigid in its resistance.
  4. As with cigars, I like a little mongrel in my peanut butter. Always crunchy, never smooth.
  5. LLC

    FOH'ers Daily Smoke

    RAG SEP 17 Reyes before watching another great Raptors win [emoji459] Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  6. I’m 40 years old and no one can convince me there’s a more balanced sandwich than a PB&J: gotta be grape jelly and SMOOTH Peter Pan on Wonder white bread. It’s the perfect sandwich.
  7. Honda for sure. Civic or accord. And that’s miles!! My civic went 450k KM and still had legs, just wanted something new. Original clutch too. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  8. Raskol

    FOH'ers Daily Smoke

    Congratulations!! & Happy Birthday! Brent.
  9. Tino652

    Central Ohio checking in

    Hi Jon I'm new too, my favorites so far are JLP, and montecristo.
  10. I’m impressed with the entrepreneurial spirit of @El Presidente. The left and right brain is strong with this one ☝🏼 Sell quality cigars ✔️ Create forum for cigar lovers ✔️ Create 24:24 feeding frenzy ✔️ Create first online auction for quality aged cigars ✔️ Pair OJ with cigars and dunk in water ✔️ Create own line of cigars ✔️ Don’t know where you find the time to do it all but I have to say I am impressed. I’ll continue to build my business so I can funnel the cashflow to yours. Can’t wait to see what’s next....(unless you take up pole dancing; that you can keep to yourself). Tip O’ the cap, good sir. 1st order is resting and I saw that 2nd and 3rd orders hit the hometown distribution center today. Keep them coming
  11. No. That piece should be of interest to everyone - great laugh!
  12. Today
  13. Habana Mike

    The Netherlands

    Definitely stop by Hajenius. Great little cigar museum. Here's what you want to look for
  14. Tino652


    Thanks for having me. I usually smoke a pipe but have been on a cigar kick lately. I am looking forward to the forum and cigars.
  15. Smooth here. Surprised again at how close they are. I have a couple of peanut butter sandwich technices I’d like to share. The first, I “originated” in college (I have no doubt this has been independently discovered by others). You take equal parts peanut butter and jelly (grape is my favorite) in a small mixing bowl and whisk them together and spread the mixture onto your sandwich bread. This is the technique I use for my boy who likes to separate the two pieces of bread and selective eat the jelly. The othe is to butter one side of bread completely, and then spread peanut butter on just the periphery of the other slice. Then jelly in the middle. When sandwiched together, it seals in the jelly and prevents it from being squished out. I make too many meals out of PB&J. And tater tots and chicken nuggets. Without them, I would be a failure at parenting.
  16. brainninja

    FOH'ers Daily Smoke

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
  17. I respectfully disagree. I get none of this. It's cherry and cream throughout.
  18. *I also thought you were talking about, "Lordy, Lordy, Look who's 40!" And - yes! What make and model
  19. brainninja

    Central Ohio checking in

    Welcome from TX Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
  20. brainninja

    Hello, hello!

    Welcome Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
  21. brainninja

    From NC, new here

    Welcome from TX! FNG here as well. Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
  22. brainninja

    Texas FNG

    Excited to be a part of FOH! I am a new found lover of Cubans and look forward to learning more and finding camaraderie. I had my first Cuban in November and have been obsessed ever since. Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
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